U.S. safety rules hit space tourism

The U.S. government’s flight body, the Federal Aviation Administration is asking for public feedback on its proposed safety rules applying to commercial space tourism.
The FAA rules for crew and passengers, which run to over 120 pages, cover details from training for space flights to medical issues and written consent before take-off.

No details about level of fitness or medical requirements are detailed in the report.

FAA’s proposed rules, which are available on the FAA website were posted at the end of December. According to media reports approval is expected by the summer.

FAA estimates that compliance with the proposed rules will cost between $1.9 million and $3.8 million through 2015, according to Flight International.

This could affect the plans of various players who are already active in the space tourism market, including Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

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However, the rulings only affect those aircraft that are active in U.S. airspace. One of the most active space tourism terminals is based outside of Moscow, Russia at the the formerly top-secret Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City.

One U.S. player, Virginia-based Space Adventures, has launched flights from here. They sent their first client—American businessman Dennis Tito, who paid $20 million of his own money to go to the International Space Station, aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2001.

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